Dear Ms Constantine
YOUR COMPLAINT ABOUT FIRSTGROUP PLC TV AD
Thank you for contacting the ASA.
We have assessed the ad and your complaint but consider that there are insufficient grounds for ASA intervention on this occasion. Our role as an organisation is to help ensure that advertising is legal, decent, honest and truthful. We can intervene if an ad that has been broadcast appears likely to be in breach of the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising by, for example, being likely to cause serious or widespread offence, being materially misleading or risking causing significant harm.
While I appreciate your point, we have to consider how consumers in general are likely to interpret an ad. In this case we note that the ad features cartoon animation including musical notes and rolling out a pink carpet when the bus stops. We consider that consumers are likely to understand that the ad represents a fantastical, over the top, scenario and is not an accurate portrayal of their day to day services. On this basis, we consider that the ad is unlikely to mislead consumers to their detriment for the reasons you suggest and as such we will not be taking any further action on this occasion.
I realise this outcome may disappoint you, however we will continue to monitor the public response to this ad.
Emma Smith | Complaints Executive